Two Great Leaders Reflect on Sen. Kennedy’s Commitment to Service
Posted by Zach Maurin on August 28, 2009
Shirley Sagawa, from sagawa/jospin and a fellow at Center for American Progress, has a great piece in yesterday’s Chronicle of Philanthropy, Legacies: Sen. Kennedy and Public Service. Shirley, who helped create AmeriCorps in 1993, writes:
As tributes pour in about the role of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, he is being heralded for promoting national-service legislation, but little attention is focusing on the pivotal role he played in persuading liberals to back the ideas that eventually led to the creation of the AmeriCorps program. His vigorous efforts to promote the importance of public service — and to offer incentives to encourage people of all income levels to serve — will be one of his most important legacies.
John Bridgeland, who was special assistant to George W. Bush and leader organizer of ServiceNation, has a great piece in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer, Kennedy Dream Lives on in Our Volunteer Spirit. The short personal anecdote from John about a call from the Senator is great. He writes:
As I was riding through rural Kentucky after the Serve America Act was signed into law and he was too ill to remain in Washington, Sen. Kennedy called me and said, “John, remember my brother talked about passing a torch to a new generation. Well, we’re really blow-torching this thing!” He laughed as a man who had done so much in life that he did not fear death.
Sen. Kennedy lit a torch that gives every American the opportunity to do what he had done for nearly 50 years – serve his nation. Through the service that each of us can do, his dream lives on.